Wish scrolls – background story

“Wish scrolls. Or magic scrolls, from Ethiopia.
Containing a magic spell, or a blessing to cure someone who was severely ill. The contents of the scroll were cut to exactly the same height as the person who needed to be cured”. That was roughly what I read, during my study BA Bookbinding, at Roehampton Institute (now Surrey University). The images I saw were long ribbons of vellum, with somewhat naivistic angels with big eyes, and text.

But I never saw the exterior of the scrolls, or the carrier of them. Now you google “Ethiopian magic scroll” and feast your eyes…but back then it was me and my imagination.
My adventurous husband went to the Sahara desert for a trek with camels carrying their gear, camping under the desert stars, singing with the nomads. I made a wish scroll for him to take with him, as a protective amulet, token of love, a talisman for great things to happen. He carried it against his skin for the trek, and when he came back I was amazed to find the scroll buffed to a high shine and darker of colour – but of course, leather is a porous, natural material and it will soak up the oils from our skin, thus becoming truly ours!
Since then I made many… you can find the ones that are currently available here.
Here’s his scroll, now permanently living in the adventuremobile :
And mine, worn in times of intense wishing, here together with a wonderful Spirit Carrier-talisman from MiaIlluzia.
PS. I found this blog post about Ethiopian magic scrolls, containing a little side-note to Indiana Jones (two reasons to add the link!) But seriously, it has a lovely written story and some inspiring illustrations, go check it out!